Yes, grants are available at the national, state, and local council level for sole traders in Australia as long as they meet the government’s growth criteria. State-level grants are more or less available for traders that meet the State’s development agenda. This could be regional development, focus on a particular industry, job creation, or to fund research in a particular subject.

Federal grants in these countries are available for traders that meet national growth requirements like support for International trade, commercialization of an innovative product, etc. When you operate your business as a sole trader, you are more or less the only owner, and you control and manage the business.

Note that operating as a sole trader business means that your personal finances are connected to your business, and they are protected in case of insolvency. A sole trader business is easier to set up, requires less reporting, and costs less to maintain than a company.

However, just because you are a ‘sole trader’ does not mean that you can’t have access to business grants. Small business grants are funds given to a business by an organization for a specific purpose. Grants are available to sole traders during their start-up phase, business expansion, and for research and development.

Unlike small business loans or credit cards, grants don’t need to be repaid, and they won’t hurt your business credit score. If you’re awarded a grant, plan ahead before you dive into spending your funds. Meanwhile, note that every grant has a specific focus, and business owners will want to find and apply to those grants that pointedly meet their needs. Unlike loans, grants can’t be spent on anything the business deems fit.

Grants are expected to be applied to the specified areas explained in the application. Depending on the company, that money may be allocated specifically to hiring fees, land, building, technology, programs, sustainability, etc.

Have it in mind that doing carrying out research to find the right grants for your business can be quite challenging. Again, when you find the right grants, the application process can take time to complete. Competition may be very stiff, so it is imperative you spend whatever time is needed to truly portray why your company deserves it.

A grant is simply a sum of capital that doesn’t have to be reimbursed to the donor. It can be awarded by various modes including organizations, foundations, companies, and ordinary citizens who have extra funding to spare. However, grants do come with restrictions—the money has to be spent in a particular way as outlined by the grant provider. And if you don’t play by the rules, there could be penalties.

3 Best Sources of Small Business Grants for Sole Traders in Australia

In Australia, there is a wide range of government and non-government grants that are available to sole traders as long as they can meet the requirements. Applying for them and succeeding can be a lengthy process that is difficult to navigate. Nonetheless, here are some grants available for sole traders in Australia;

  1. Government Programs

There are so many government programs available in Australia, depending on the type of venture you are funding.

  • ‘The Entrepreneurs’ Programme’ strives to help with productivity, business growth, and competing in the marketplace, with funding of up to $1 million.
  • ‘The Research & Development Tax Incentive’ is a 43.5% tax offset to inspire innovation in companies of turnover under $20 million.
  • ‘Venture Capital Limited Partnerships’ offers tax benefits such as exemption from capital gains tax.
  • ‘Austrade Landing Pad’ aims to help Aussie start-ups in innovative markets like Singapore, Germany, and China.
  • The ‘Export Market Development Grant’, for exporters, providing reimbursement for export promotions.
  1. Bank Grants

In Australia, some banks also offer generous grant schemes, with the sole aim of getting enterprises off their feet which then pay back the community with local economic development and employment opportunities.

Also note that existing businesses are also helped through many of these schemes with access to support networks and knowledge. You are advised to contact your local banks or visit their websites to check out what kind of grants for small businesses have applications open at the moment.

  1. Other Grant Opportunities

Also note that there are other possibilities for small business grants for sole traders in Australia. A great catch-all destination is Business Enterprise Centres Australia, a not-for-profit organization that can help you locate potential support, and give you some tools on how to follow the process.

Conclusion

Just like it was explained above, Sole Traders can have access to business grants both in the United Kingdom and also in Australia. If you are organized and prepared by ticking the boxes, your chances of getting grants will be higher, and you will have access to funds and support for your small business sooner than you expect.

However, once you’ve found the right grant for you and your business or start-up concept, it’s time to pull together a convincing and air-tight application that will stand up throughout the rigorous and competitive application process.

Ajaero Tony Martins